One of the most beloved types of home flooring is carpet. From soft fibers to cozy warmth in the winter, carpet is hard to beat for the relaxing and comfortable home environment it creates. However, these plush floors also deal with their fair share of damage. Carpet constantly gets stepped on by your family, stained by coffee and other beverages, and pummeled by your pets. To help maintain your carpet’s functionality and looks, avoid the common carpet maintenance mistakes below.
Scrubbing or rubbing carpet vigorously
Many homeowners believe rubbing or scrubbing their carpets will help to remove stains. However, this is often actually not the case—in reality, scrubbing your carpet with a scrub brush or rag will push the molecules further down, exacerbating damage to the fibers. Put down the brush and try gently blotting your carpet with a white towel instead.
Not purchasing walk-off mats, runners, or area rugs
Dirt, snow, salt, leaves, and water are common outside elements that can easily get dragged into your home. Help protect the carpet inside with a simple mat or area rug. A mat or rug will stop large dirt and debris at the door, so that it doesn’t get tracked inside where it will tarnish your clean carpets. The most efficient spots to put mats, runners, or area rugs are high-use areas where your home gets the most foot traffic—these areas could be by your doors, stairs, hallways, kitchen, you name it. With the help of a simple walk off mat, runner, or area rug, you can dramatically increase the lifetime of your carpets.
Vacuuming too much or too little
Although vacuuming can be a tedious task, too much or too little can become an issue for your carpets. We recommend that you vacuum your carpets at least once a week, and if your home has pets or children, consider vacuuming every other day. Don’t let appearances fool you—not all dirt is visible to the naked eye. Between your carpet fibers are billions of oil, dust, and dirt particles that can stay hidden for months. Regular carpet cleaning and vacuuming will help your carpet maintain its healthy fibers and natural color over the long haul.
Trying to “DIY” carpet cleaning
When it comes time to deep clean your carpet, we highly recommend contacting a professional. Although the do-it-yourself approach is one many homeowners take, be aware that if you over shampoo, over wet, or fail to protect your wet carpet from furniture, you may cause more harm than good. There are several common errors people make when trying to deep clean their own carpets:
- Over-shampooing: This leads to soapy residue build-up that will turn your carpet into a dirt magnet.
- Over-wetting: Over-wetting creates discoloration, shrinking, mold, and mildew issues.
- Failing to remove furniture: Leaving furniture on wet carpet can result in the formation of stains from the dyes used on the furniture.
- Using the wrong carpet deodorizer: Many store bought carpet deodorizers work to mask the smell of dirty carpets, but few, if any, can actually remove it at the source. In addition to not addressing the source of the smell, carpet deodorizers often leave behind residue that is nearly impossible to remove with just standard vacuuming. These residues can attract dust, dirt, and even more odors to your carpet.
Your carpet does a lot for your home. Be sure to avoid common mistakes in regular maintenance to properly care for it and ensure the most optimal outcomes. When the need arises for a more advanced clean, working with a professional will be your best bet. A local professional carpet cleaner will know what products to use or not use on your carpet, and will have the tools and equipment needed to execute the job correctly.